Khoury: Country's Economy Can No Longer Endure Burden of Displaced Syriansإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Minister of Economy Raed Khoury said on Saturday that the Syrian crisis has entailed economic costs on Lebanon worth $18 billion dollars, as he urged displaced Syrians to return back home.
“The Syrian crisis has cost the Lebanese economy 18 billion dollars since 2011 until today.
The economic situation can no longer endure,” stressed Khoury in a press conference.
The Minister pointed to the spike in Syrian workforce that left thousands of Lebanese unemployed, he said: “Syrian workforce has increased to 380 thousand, and unemployment among the Lebanese has risen to 30%.”
“We sympathize with the displaced Syrians, but we wish them to return home,” he remarked, pointing out that until that happens “Lebanon as a state is required to organize economic relationship between Lebanon and the displaced.”
Lebanon hosts more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, who amount to more than a quarter of the country's population not to mention undocumented individuals, many of whom live in informal tented settlements.
The Syria refugee influx into Lebanon has strained the country's infrastructure, and has also sparked accusations that refugee camps are harboring militants from the war.
The World Bank says the Syrian crisis has pushed an estimated 200,000 Lebanese into poverty, adding to the nation's one million poor.